Aluminum Dust Cone - taming the brightness

jbp

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,570
I've played a few JBL-equipped Fenders over the years that I've loved. Better said, I've loved the clean tones. But kick in an OD or distortion pedal and...not so good.

So, it got me wondering if there's a simple solution is to tame the brightness without killing the sparkle on the clean tones. As far as I can tell, here are the potential solutions:

- Replace the aluminum duct cap with a paper dust cap
- Jay Mitchell approved "donut"
- Beam Blocker


What have you found to be the best solution? And before someone suggests it, I don't want to replace the speaker. ;)
 
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67mike

Senior Member
Messages
2,108
Run a seperate cab with a speaker geared for OD and use an A/B pedal......end of story.

Why put nail polish on a turd.
 

schecter

Member
Messages
105
I think it's the combination of both the metal dust cap and the alnico (in those old JBL's)... I am in the same camp as you!.I love the clean sparkle they give you for a clean sound but adding overdrive adds the harmonics you don't want (if you like smooth flatter tone in OD)..There is a point where if you can get the volume up enough where the highs and lows can balance and everything smooths out, these are for the most part great speakers..Unfortunately most of us small club players don't have that luxury anymore!.. Changing the dust cap can help however you might find the speaker is a bit too dark (especially with humbuckers) so it depends on your guitars,cab style,amp,and taste.. Adding a beam blocker helps when standing directly in front but IMO is simply a band aid on the problem..Another effective device might be some plexi glass..In the end it really boils down to taste and how much trouble and expense your willing to try and experiment with them make those inherently BRIGHT speakers work for you..
IMO..There is no simple fix for these speakers!!

Good Luck!
Tony Albany
 

jbp

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,570
Run a seperate cab with a speaker geared for OD and use an A/B pedal......end of story.

Why put nail polish on a turd.
Too expensive and cumbersome. I'm looking for a simple solution, if there is one.
 

ylo

Member
Messages
801
Try adding a graphical EQ pedal after your overdrive, in the amp FX loop if necessary. Cut the treble bands one by one until you find a good sound. As recall, many JBLs have a nasty spike at around 2.5 KHz that is responsible for the fizz and ice pick, so try cutting at 2.5 kHz first.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,428
I find that JBL's are one of the few speaker I like pointed at my knees, instead of my ears.
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,344
Too expensive and cumbersome. I'm looking for a simple solution, if there is one.
There is none. You're wanting two opposite qualities to exist simultaneously in the same speaker. All those weird harmonics making the OD sound funky are the same ones making the clean tones sound so good.

Basically you're asking for a car that will outrun a Bugatti and handle the off road better than a Hummer. You're best bet is to ditch the JBL and find a speaker that's more of a compromise between the two. You'll lose the cleans you love, but that's the price you pay. You can't have everything. Not in this world.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,428
Basically you're asking for a car that will outrun a Bugatti and handle the off road better than a Hummer. You're best bet is to ditch the JBL and find a speaker that's more of a compromise between the two. You'll lose the cleans you love, but that's the price you pay. You can't have everything. Not in this world.
This is really good advice. I love JBL's... but there are amps, for instance, that I don't like them with. Dr Z's come to mind. What you might try is an Altec... 417/418 come to mind as excellent 12/15" speakers that have a paper cone and many of the attributes we like from JBL's, but without that high end edge. Very musical.. very crisp... but not edgy bright.
 

67mike

Senior Member
Messages
2,108
Too expensive and cumbersome. I'm looking for a simple solution, if there is one.

Simple solution is to kick in the speaker ya have and throw something else in......my other suggestion is second simplest,:hide



I would start by buying a CHEAP Mesa c-90 off ebay or cl.
 

billyguitar

Member
Messages
5,467
I have a Neo 12 from Weber with a paper dust cover. (I also have more than a few old JBLs so I know the sound) The paper cap takes away from the JBL-ness of the speaker making it just another bland speaker. If I really wanted to use a regular JBL I would just keep looking until you find a pedal you like with it. Ylo also had a good idea.
 

schecter

Member
Messages
105
A good compromise is an Alnico without the Metal dust cover..you still get the extended high sparkle but not to the extreme like with the metal covers!!


Tony
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
This. I can add some clean sparkle back with my VFE Rocket EQ parametric easily. Removing annoying overtones in OD without screwing with adjacent desirable tones is not so easy. To much salt in the stew type of thing.

There is none. You're wanting two opposite qualities to exist simultaneously in the same speaker. All those weird harmonics making the OD sound funky are the same ones making the clean tones sound so good.

Basically you're asking for a car that will outrun a Bugatti and handle the off road better than a Hummer. You're best bet is to ditch the JBL and find a speaker that's more of a compromise between the two. You'll lose the cleans you love, but that's the price you pay. You can't have everything. Not in this world.
 

mojo jones

Member
Messages
1,197
I've owned and used several old JBLs in Fender and Sunn amps. I've had no problems turning the treble knob down just slightly. High frequencies drop off as you get further from the speaker. You should judge your distortion pedals while using a wireless, because out in the audience, in a crowded room, the additional "presence" conferred by the metal cap won't sound as fizzy as it does when you're sitting in front of it. Mic the speaker to the edge, away from the cap.
 

brbadg

Member
Messages
192
Well,the graphic eq got lost in the rest,so I'll just put my 2 cents in for the eq.I use the boss 7 band.
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
I've played a few JBL-equipped Fenders over the years that I've loved. Better said, I've loved the clean tones. But kick in an OD or distortion pedal and...not so good.

So, it got me wondering if there's a simple solution is to tame the brightness without killing the sparkle on the clean tones. As far as I can tell, here are the potential solutions:

- Replace the aluminum duct cap with a paper dust cap
- Jay Mitchell approved "donut"
- Beam Blocker


What have you found to be the best solution? And before someone suggests it, I don't want to replace the speaker. ;)
Two issues with the JBL's handling of distortion.
One is a matter of preference comparing distortion effect EQ between the JBL and any less accurate, less efficient, but more colorful speaker.

A lot of folks don't want to hear all the misc. hash their fuzz is putting out in the high end.
I know I don't, but as an EQ issue you could deal with it from the tone control on your guitar too. The speaker's not going to reproduce frequencies you don't send it in the first place, so the guitar's tone control could be another EQ option.

But none of that is a JBL specific problem, that's just relative to a Celestion for example.

The speaker specific JBL issue is they do get raggedy when pushed.
And it's kind of ugly.
And it does show up in the treble, so it's easy to blame the dust cap, but it doesn't start there.
The way you upset the cone, and this is a resident speaker distortion issue, is by sending it too much power and or too much bass.

Turning the bass down keeps the dome happy.
EQ'ing the high end won't keep a JBL out of the raggedy speaker distortion zone.
You'll just get a dull raggedy sound.

The JBL's are very efficient. They'll make great use of not a lot of power, but they suffer from too much.
If you consider some of the iconic use, Jerry Garcia, Duane Allman, etc, those are multiple speaker situations, three or four JBL's at least, and if you check out the higher gain sounds that both those guys used, as opposed to the clean sounds, you'll hear both guys rolling off top end at the guitar.
Right?

So, best results might be had not overpowering the speaker.
Traditionally this is accomplished by using multiple speakers.
Definitely don't send 'em too much bass, the less the better.

That takes care of the speaker f*cking up on its own terms.

Use your guitar's tone control to roll off anything you don't like situationally.

Big fan of the JBL's, my go-to speaker is D or K130.
 

Rumors of War

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,062
Thanks for posting Mr. Kimock. Not to be a gushing fanboi or anything, but I learn something useful from most of your posts. I'm not super familiar with your music, but next time you play Vegas I'll come watch just on general principal of your contributions to TGP.
 




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